I was feeling under the weather yesterday. Prescription for what ailed me: retire to bed with laptop and watch my DVD of "With A Song in My Heart." Just what the doctor (me) ordered.
Haven't watched this film in a while, and it was a pure pleasure to see it again. This was the first time viewing it on my laptop, too, and oddly enough I like the intimacy of the 13-inch screen. Somehow I could see more detail. The smaller screen focuses your attention more -- at least for me it worked that way.
Love everything about this film -- costumes. music, performances. Susan is great, of course, but Thelma Ritter has some very touching moments as well. The only weak link I would say is Rory Calhoun. (Errol, I think he ranks right up there with Lee Bowman in the lack-of-personality department.)
Jane Froman's voice is fabulous, and Susan does a great job of "interpreting" the songs and has Jane's gestures down pat.
The DVD is loaded with extras, and if you do not have this in your collection, you definitely should get it. There are three featurettes on Jane and the making of the film, photo and poster galleries, and three different trailers. Also included is an envelope with lobby cards depicting scenes from the film. Many DVDs don't have this much material, so it is well worth the price. I watched all of these extras and enjoyed them very much, since it was the first time I had taken the time to really watch them. And the lobby cards were a surprise -- I don't remember seeing them the first time around -- or maybe I just forgot.
Jane Froman's story is so inspirational, and as one of the commentators said, he "couldn't imagine any other actress but Susan doing the part as well." They also mentioned that Jeanne Crain was interested in doing it. Certainly she resembled Jane, but I don't think she would have had the acting chops. Regardless, Jane wanted Susan in the part, and since she was a technical advisor on the film, I imagine she had a lot to say about who would play her. The photos of Jane and Susan on the DVD were great to see because it showed a great deal of the admiration they obviously felt for each other.
Anyway, just thought I would let you know how a simple remedy like a Susan film can do wonders when you're feeling under the weather. But you know that already, don't you.
Jill, that film always perks me up too. It has been a while since I've watched the dvd. I think Ilene Stone, a Jane Froman author, was interviewed on this one. I met her at a couple of Jane Froman reunions in Columbia, Missouri, which is only a couple of hours from me. They used to have them every year, but I haven't been in quite a while. They talk about Jane and Susan a lot. It's all very nice.
I love watching dvds/movies on my laptop. "Intimate" is the right word. You feel like you are right there in the film. I especially like it with the film noir movies. I can totally lose myself which is a good thing..ha
I don't remember about the lobby cards on the dvd.. will check that out.
Jill....HA!!!... ...I had to laugh when you put RORY CALHOUN as one of the worse co-stars of Susan's...(up there with LEE BOWMAN..ha!). i totally agree!!
He just..didn't 'make the grade'..and was the only 'downfall' of this truly great film.
THIS ONE will always be my 'favorite' Susan film..because..'this film' was when I was 'taken' by Susan..and there would be 'no other favorite actress' after seeing her in this film.
I was also taken by young ROBERT WAGNER..(and must admit, I cry each time I watch this film and she sings "I'll Walk Alone"...then the "American Tribute" songs that she sings (or Jane sings)..at the ending of the film. I can't get through these two things without shedding some tears..and have watched this film so many, many times.
I agree with you on THELMA RITTER and her wonderful role as Clancy, the nurse, in the film. She was nominated for Supp. Actress..and I always wondered 'why' she didn't get the Oscar, until I found out that 'Nurse Clancy' is the only part of the film that is NOT a true thing in Jane Froman's life. I have read that..this role..was 'added' to make the film even more 'appealing' than it already was.
You mentioned the music, cinematography, color, etc. ONE THING that I was always amazed at..was the fact that WITH A SONG IN MY HEART won Best Music Score for a Musical/or Comedy that year..and the loosing film was..SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. Quite an accomplishment, since RAIN has become such a classic movie musical. But..the wonderful songs (and there are a lot) in WASIMH..were classic standards that were so wonderful..that it is 'hard' to compare these two films. BUT that is what happened..and the winner was Susan's film.
SUSAN'S voice-overs were amazing! It has been said that she 'was 'actually' singing..while filming..even though JANE FORMAN's voice would be used, but she wanted the 'effect' to be 'real' and it shows. Look at her vocal cords in her neck as she is singing. If you are a singer, you can 'check' these things. Her lips were in complete sync.
A TOTAL AMAZING PERFORMANCE....
Ah, you two, I really loved Rory Calhoun in that film.. LOL
Different strokes for different folks...
I loved Robert Wagner too...my goodness he was beautiful, a real looker. He was so memorable in the film considering the short amount of film time that he had.
Now, that Rory Calhoun was a handsome pilot.. ha
P.S. I was so disappointed when just a few years ago I learned that Clancy was not a real person, but a character formed from a combination of nurses and/or people who helped Jane.
HA...HA!!! Ginger....You know 'US'..(Jill and I)..find some of those leading men she had..a little 'odd'..>But will admit Rory Calhoun was handsome and not as bad choices as Lee Bowman and (another one)..James Mason. Mason...just didn't seem to have any 'spark' opposite Susan...(and I have already said how much I find this just a 'wrong film' for either of them, since they were both too good of actors to be doing this Broadway-turned-movie...that deflated like a balloon with a large hole in it!
But..like you said...'different strokes...for different people.'...
I have to leap to the defence of the beautiful Rory Calhoun - I agree with you Ginger - just so handsome and a lovely man - has to be to be so open in his admiration of Susan. I thought he was great in the part of John Burn and of course, With a Song in My Heart is always up there on my top 5 list of Susan's films. However, I disagree with Robert Wagner - not that cute in my opinion! Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder!
One person I also admired from the first time I saw him was Chuck Connors - so much so that the man I married was a "look-alike!" Strangely enough, Susan admired him too as she mentioned she liked him when she was on the Joey Bishop show.
Another beautiful man was JESS BARKER - I could quite see what Susan saw in him - so very attractive - and so very LOYAL. Just think about all we have read - he was tight mouthed once the divorce was over and never said anything against Susan when he could probably have said quite a lot. It would have been brilliant to have seen Jess and Susan opposite each other - particularly in CANYON PASSAGE when he read for the Dana Andrews part. Maybe things could have been different for him and particularly for their marriage if he had played that part. There is no re-writing history and I am just content to have my collection of the wonderful Susan films to view at my leisure. I thank God for bringing her into my life!
Errol, I just think I always concentrate on how handsome Calhoun was in the film.. imoho